I'm excited to be participating in the Farm To Fork Fondo--Pennsylvania Dutch for the third year in row. My first Farm To Fork Fondo was my very first organized ride and first time riding on roads instead of dedicated bike paths. Last year I added a few more organized rides to my schedule--including my first century ride--but none were as special as my Farm To Fork Fondo experiences.
Let's face it, the scenery is hard to beat.
And there's no better fuel than orchard-fresh cider and peaches, dairy fresh ice cream, and whoopie pies!
The Farm To Fork Fondo - Pennsylvania Dutch route has a "moderate" difficulty rating which, for a casual cyclist like me, means hills worth training for. Although I made it up all the hills my first year without hill conditioning, I felt much stronger last year after becoming a regular on a local bike shop's weekly hill ride. Since the event is a month earlier this year I might not be quite as ready as I was last year, but I'm committed to participating in at least a few hill rides between now and the end of June.
Aside from weekend rides, the only other "cycling" I do is a weekly indoor cycling class. I know some cyclists don't think indoor cycling "counts," but I've found that the right type of class really can improve my conditioning. I have a favorite instructor who includes a combination of tough climbs and speed intervals in her programs that make me a stronger rider when I get on my bike. Plus, on a stationary bike I can ride as hard as my legs will let me, without holding back for fear of encountering "traffic" on the bike path.
I'll be doing the Medio Fondo, which is about 50 miles. While that distance is longer than my usual weekend rides, it's not so long that I won't be able to enjoy the day. When deciding which distance to do, it's important to remember that you will want to spend time at the Farm Stop Aid Stations. I may not linger at each of the five stops, but I will take my time at a few of them to meet the hosts, chat with the volunteers, and enjoy the refreshments. So, while I could cover 50 miles in about 3 hours, I expect to take at least 4 hours to complete the Medio Fondo--and will savor every moment!
With all those Farm Stop Aid Stations, it's hard to imagine being hungry after the ride, but the great spread at the Post-Ride Farm to Fork Barbecue always is too good to resist. Plus, it's a great time to relax, enjoy live music, and chat with other riders--and congratulate each other on such a great ride.
I’m looking forward to it already!